Until recently is wasn’t easy to find packable animal-based foods which were ready for the trail. On a recent backpacking trip I tried some of the new convenient grass-fed, ready-to-go primal super foods and was delighted with the results.
My menu consisted of a combination:
1) Pemmican I had made myself
2) Carnivore Bars (which are pemmican commercially made)
3) Freeze-dried chunks of pasture raised beef organ meats from Grassland Nutrition.
4) Bone broth powder from Amy Meyers
4) A few store bought items: Honey, Butter, Cheese, Dates, and medicinal mushroom powders.
This menu proved to be delicious (with an acquired taste), energy building, easy to pack and prepare, and easy to digest. It gave me the strength and endurance I needed for tough hiking and also heat generating for adapting to the outdoor temperatures. Although this was summer, I did spend some time in 55 degree weather at high elevation. I also did some cold water dipping and felt easily adapting to these conditions.
This was the first time I was bringing only pemmican for this long of a trip. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work. I didn’t know how I would adapt to this much fat. I ate the pemmican for breakfast and felt pretty good. I stayed at the same camp to make sure I would get the hang of 1) how much to eat, 2) when to eat (how often), and 3) how to combine other foods with the pemmican. I ended up feeling even better than I did at home eating more variety with fresher foods.
You might be wondering, what is the point of being carnivore, also known as Paleo or the Ancestral Health Diet? Most modern backpackers bring foods like trail mix, peanut butter, pasta, oatmeal, instant potatoes. These are mineral depleting, full of anti-nutrients such as phytates, oxalates and lectins and don’t have the power to optimize one’s physical endurance and energy. This carnivore or ancestral health approach has helped me personally recover from chronic illness and reach a state of robust vibrant health.
This in turn has taken my backpacking adventures to another level. When I bring ancestral fibers with my clothing and eat an ancestral health diet, I feel like a million dollars. This satiating food staves off hunger like none other. I can hike all day and sleep like a log in the forest. I can jump in the cold waters and feel the essence of nature permeating every cell of my body. Previous to this, when I spent many years as a vegan, I was weak and would be completely depleted by the rough hiking and exposure to extreme temperatures.
Here I will describe how you too can incorporate these foods into your rewilding adventures. See my blog on How To Make Pemmican if you want to do it yourself. You can also purchase the Carnivore Bars and Grassland Nutrition products on the Lucky Sheep Website.
I was testing and didn’t know how much I would eat of each thing but it ended up to be just the right amount. After the fifth day I still had about two pounds total left from the eight pounds I started with and that is perfect. We should always pack extra for emergencies. The principle is to pack two pounds of food for each day.
Here is the list of what I brought.
- Homemade Pemmican–6 pounds
- Carnivore Bars–four
- Grassland Nutrition Kidney Chunks–one pound bag
- Raw grassfed cheese–1/2 pound
- Honey–6 ounces
- Butter–1 pound
- Dates–1 pound
- Medicinal Mushroom Powders–small bag of chaga, reishi, turkey tail, lions mane
- Bone Broth Powder
I eat three meals per day plus snacks. Each meal consisted of my homemade pemmican as the staple.
- Breakfast would include a hot coffee with mushroom powders and butter.
- Lunch would be pemmican with handfuls of the Kidney Chunks (they tasted like chips), a few dates, and some slices of cheese. I would also be drinking water with mushroom powders and vitamin C powder.
- Supper would include pemmican with a bowl of hot bone broth soup, melted butter, slices of cheese, handfuls of kidney chunks, and some dates for dessert.
- Snacks would be: Carnivore Bars, Kidney Chunks, Dates. honey eaten directly from the silicon squeeze bottle.
I found if important to drink water in-between each bite of food. That kept me hydrated and happy. The only thing I would improve next time is to include salt in the water.